Seeking disbanding of the election watchdog, the ruling party has called on the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) to resign for “failing to hold the recently-held Senate elections in a transparent manner”.
“It was a longstanding demand of the prime minister that the power of money should not be used to influence elections,” said Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood while addressing a press conference alongside Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz and Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry.
“For this purpose, the premier wanted the Senate elections to be held via an open ballot.”
Mahmood said it is the sole responsibility of the ECP to ensure transparent polls are held. He said that the government had told the ECP to implement a system wherein it would not be possible for corrupt practices to take place.
The minister called on the election commission to be disbanded, alleging that it had failed to meet up to the standards required of it.
“To ensure transparent elections are held is the responsibility of the election commission. This responsibility was not fulfilled,” he said. “The election commission failed to act as a neutral umpire hence it should resign,” added Mahmood.
Explaining the government’s demand for the ECP to be disbanded, Mahmood said the PTI was the most popular political party in the country yet it did not have confidence in the ECP. He claimed the ruling party was not the only one which didn’t trust the ECP.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had also taken a dig at the CEC, saying: “It is unfortunate that he is increasingly creating a partisan image of the ECP which erodes its credibility as well as [the] credibility of future elections under its supervision.”
The minister had alleged that the CEC was partial and added that “instead of supporting PM & PTI’s demand for open ballot to ensure transparency in Senate elections, PDM’s opportunism & CEC’s partisan approach prevented fair, free and transparent Senate elections”.
“CEC must take prime responsibility for this sorry state of electoral affairs.”